View from the Chamber 23.01.20

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There’s no doubt that short-term accommodation rental market is booming, and the Scottish Government is now taking steps to empower local authorities with new powers to regulate the market.

From spring 2021 Highland Council, along with all other local authorities in Scotland, will be given new powers to implement a licensing scheme for short-term lets. If you currently rent out a whole flat or pod as holiday accommodation, this will affect you.

The licensing scheme will include a new mandatory safety requirement that will ensure consistent safety standards across every type of short-term visitor accommodation.

Councils will be able to designate control areas to ensure that planning permission will always be required for the change of use of whole properties for short-term lets. It will also give councils the discretion to apply further conditions to address concerns of local residents, such as around issues like littering and overcrowding.

Scottish Government Housing Minister Kevin Stewart, said: ‘Short-term lets can offer people a flexible travel option and have contributed positively to Scotland’s tourism industry and local economies across the country. That is why we are empowering local authorities to implement a system that works for their area. By giving councils the power to set conditions around short-term let licenses and put in place planning control areas to tackle hot spots, communities across Scotland will be able to decide what is best for them and their local economy.’

This coming change is just one of the topics you can discuss with tourism industry experts, including the principal officer in charge of tourism at Highland Council, at our upcoming Tourism Roadshow on February 5 and 6. Visit for more info and to book your free place.

Lochaber Chamber of Commerce acts as the destination management organisation for Lochaber, promoting the area as the ‘Outdoor Capital of the UK’. We work for the benefit of all local businesses, our community and visitors. If you want to make sure that you’re in the know about developments in the tourism industry and benefit from the combined clout of being part of Scotland’s premier business network join us today at